SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Beats Earnings Estimates

SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Beats Earnings Estimates
By BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) released the earnings results from its most recently completed quarter after closing bell tonight, posting adjusted losses of 75 cents per share on $58.3 million in revenue. Analysts had been expecting the solar panel system installer to report losses of $1.12 per share on $60.2 million in revenue for the third quarter. In the same quarter last year, SolarCity reported losses of 3 cents per share on $48.6 million in revenue.

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Net income was 19 cents per share.

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Key metrics from SolarCity’s earnings report

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) said its Estimated Nominal Contracted Payments Remaining rose 137% to $4.1 billion. The company said its Estimated Nominal Contracted Payments remaining rose by $803 million sequentially. SolarCity signed up a net 27,116 new contracts during the quarter.

SolarCity booked a record 230 megawatts of projects, a 154% year over year increase, and deployed 137 megawatts worth of projects, a 77% year over year increase. The company reported an 11% decline in total blended cost, which fell to $2.90 per watt. Management continues to aim at targeting volume each year and cutting the cost to $2.50 per watt by 2017. Installation costs fell 45 to $2.19 per watt, compared to $2.29 per watt in the previous quarter. Sales were flat quarter over quarter at 50 cents per what.

As of the end of September, SolarCity had a cumulative 894 megawatts deployed and 168,339 cumulative customers, which was a 105% year over year improvement. The solar energy systems assets on its balance sheet, net were $2.44 billion. The retained value forecast is $2.18 billion.

SolarCity provides guidance

For the fourth quarter, SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) expects to deploy between 179 megawatts and 194 megawatts, a 26% sequential increase and 81% year over year increase at the midpoint. For the full year, management expects to deploy between 502 megawatts and 520 megawatts, an 83% increase year over year at the midpoint.

The company projects GAAP operating lease and solar energy systems incentive revenue to be between $46 million and $52 million for the fourth quarter. Solar system and component sale revenue is projected to be between $20 million and $24 million for the quarter.

Non-GAAP losses per share are expected to be between $1.25 and $1.35 per share.


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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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  1. Future growth of the major players in the solar industry will probably be severely tempered by the sheer number of smaller companies that are entering the market in record numbers.

    Modern solar systems today are not rocket science. Solar technology has basically reached plug and play standards. Installations of grid tie solar systems are now being completed by homeowners with no prior experience. Contractors with backgrounds as varied as window installation, air conditioning to gardeners, nationwide, are now offering solar system installations at much lower pricing than the major players with $0 down financing.

    The solar industry offers very little in the way of barriers to entry. Now that low interest rate, $0 down financing and historically low pricing is available to any solar dealer, large or small, the level of competition has mushroomed.

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